The British's Technological Impact Upon the Maori Prior to 1840

The British's Technological Impact Upon the Maori Prior to 1840

  • Submitted By: annap
  • Date Submitted: 08/15/2010 11:24 PM
  • Category: History Other
  • Words: 742
  • Page: 3
  • Views: 720

This essay looks at the introduction of European technology to the New Zealand Maori prior to colonization in 1840. New technologies were adopted into their everyday lives and resulted in change to their economy and society. Firearms, iron tools, new agricultural technology and economic values were introduced to lead to the colonization and civilization that New Zealand is today. This essay discovers those technologies that led to new alternatives and processes adopted by Maori prior to 1840.

The technology that had the biggest impact on Maori was the new weaponry that suddenly became available. A tutua (a nobody) was able to stand behind a tree and kill a great warrior or chief. Muskets were first seen as scary to Maori whom had never seen these sticks that shot fire before. Metal was also something that had certainly never seen before for Maori in New Zealand, as it was not available. These muskets revolutionized wars between tribes and made battles all the more bloody. One pull of the trigger and one bullet from the musket could lead to a victory. With the adaptation to this new weaponry, battle ground respect was tossed away and the head which was previously seen as tapu was soon learnt to be the best target. This new technology affected the Maori socially with the shifting of tribes due to this harmful piece of metal and economically with the trade of muskets with the British for parts of their society which was not uncommon.

Other technology adapted by Maori was equipment such as knifes made from metal, metal spades, tomahawks, mugs, hammers and metal buckets/pots. This more “simplistic” technology was already in New Zealand but made from parts of plants or more natural items rather than metal. This technology by definition just made life easier for the Maori and added an extra foundation of knowledge for them to adapt to.

Technological knowledge too had a vast impact on the way Maori undertook their lives in the days prior to 1840. For example,...

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